Claude Lelouch may never be the most profound director in the world, but he sure knows how to whip up a catchy distraction. And Now Ladies & Gentlemen finds Lelouch in a skippy, unpredictable mode. Jeremy Irons, who seems to be enjoying himself enormously, is a thief who sets out on a sailing voyage, only to fetch up in Morocco after he blacks out at the helm. There he meets sultry singer Patricia Kaas (her first acting role); it turns out they both might have brain tumors. Did someone say this is a romantic comedy? It is, complete with musical numbers (Kaas glides through a cozy cross-section of French pop music, including the theme from A Man and a Woman, Lelouch's '60s smash). The movie's all over the place, and it spins its wheels for the final half-hour, but there are certain kinds of romantics who will find this sort of thing irresistible. --Robert Horton
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